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teejay
Fireman

Canada
5853 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2006 :  1:04:46 PM  Show Profile
A while back , we got into a discussion about the LHS and how things have changed ....often for the worse . Fewer hobby shops , the internet , indifferent service ....you name it , things have changed .

But !

Let me set the scene here . About a year ago , a man by the name of Bob Swaddling arrived at one of our Modular Club sessions and was looking to join up . A couple of us knew him but most didn't . It turned out he had opened a hobby shop in a small town about 25 miles away , to cater to the RC crowd ...cars , planes and the like . But Bob always liked trains and had the same "growing up with trains " stories that we all have . Bob had a half built layout in his new hobby shop and was interested in DCC ...Digitrax to be specific ..and " could we help him with some questions and answers on the subject ?" Of course we could .

It turns out that Bob has an avid interest in many areas of modeling ....RC planes , helicopters , boats , and cars as well as trains . He has a special interest in WWII planes and is involved in the preservation and reconstruction of the Spitfire WWII fighter that a friend owns .

Here's the kicker : Bob opened his hobby shop in a small town of 5000 WHERE THERE IS ALREADY A HOBBY SHOP !!

" I live here and it's more comfortable to be near home " , says Bob .

Bob is retired and THEN got into the hobby business .He and his son bought an old barn like structure ( might have even been a small arena ) and while the outside isn't very fancy , the inside is all redone . There is the hobby shop , indoor RC track , large RC workshop , LOUNGE , FRIG , MICROWAVE , WASHROOMS .
Outside is a large parking lot with an adjacent outdoor RC track !










The atmosphere inside is very laid back . Go sit in the lounge area ...pour yourself a free coffee ( real cups ,real coffee , real cream and sugar ) , talk with the many modelers that come and go and enjoy ! Bring a loco to run if you want .
Bob is careful with his mrring inventory as he gets a feel for what people want . Don't see it ...like my Plastruct needs ...I'll order it now and it will be in by Friday . No muss , no fuss .

AND HE'S MAKING MONEY !

You can check out Bob's business at Action Hobbies . http://www.actionhobbieskingsville.com/


Terry

Tabooma County Rwy
Fireman

USA
4630 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2006 :  1:10:00 PM  Show Profile
That's pretty cool, Terry, we could use more people like him in the hobby! I can certainly see why people are reluctant to open a business like this when competing with the internet these days. Bob has courage. Best of luck to him!
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Rick
Administrator

USA
22793 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2006 :  4:35:03 PM  Show Profile
Terry, looks like a nice shop. This guy sounds like he knows how to run a business. I wish him continued success.
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kay4pacific
Fireman

USA
4765 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2006 :  5:48:44 PM  Show Profile
I wish Bob's Venture much success. I try to support my LHS when purchasing somewhat smaller orders. It's hard to buy just one or two items from the internet. The shipping kills what savings you might have gained.(buy an item for 7.95 and are charged 8.50 for shipping)[:-banghead]
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Peterpools
Engineer

USA
12335 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2006 :  6:59:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit Peterpools's Homepage
Bob, Best of luck for success on you new passion and business.. Sure wish things like that would happen here on the island but it's mot likely.
Peter [:-kitty]
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MarkF
Engineer

USA
13727 Posts

Posted - 09/04/2006 :  12:58:53 AM  Show Profile
I'll add my wishes to his continued success. The hobby business is deinitely a tough nut to crack, especially when you consider having to compete with not only the internet, but the 'flea marketeers', those guys that go from train show to train show, discounting like crazy! Don't get me wrong, I like low prices too, but I also enjoy the service. Hence, I always support my LHS for everything as I know he needs the big business in order to supply the small business.

Mark
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teejay
Fireman

Canada
5853 Posts

Posted - 09/04/2006 :  10:10:11 AM  Show Profile
I forgot to mention that Bob gives all of our Modular Club members 10% off everything , even orders . Every little bit helps . I was going across the river to P&D Hobby outside of Detroit ....but when you consider bridge and/or tunnel tolls , gas for the longer drive , border slow downs and all , it makes sense to patronize Action Hobbies . Bob seems to be very busy and doing OK at this point .

T
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brakie
Fireman

USA
6979 Posts

Posted - 09/04/2006 :  3:05:57 PM  Show Profile
Terry,Bob is a very smart man..He is catering to the RC racing crowd as well as other modelers and has a laid back race drivers/modeler lounge and "home" atmosphere..All of that equals success in the racing world.After all nothing like relaxing before the days races starts..
Believe me even racing 1/24th and 1/32nd slot cars will wear you down from the constant concentration during a race especially on twisty road courses with short but fast straightaways...

Edited by - brakie on 09/04/2006 3:06:29 PM
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